Wednesday, January 6, 2016

review + interview || PAIN { blog tour } by Amanda Mackey

Limitless Publishing | January 5, 2016 | New Adult


Life is sweet in The Sanctuary—until Lillian Harris is thrown the curveball of her life.

Lillian is perfectly happy cocooned within the lofty perimeter fence of The Sanctuary. Her Sanctuary—a vast oasis for rescued lions, tigers, and elephants. The animals are her world. So when Lillian’s dad tells her a nineteen-year-old criminal who’s fresh out of prison is coming to The Sanctuary as part of a rehabilitation program, Lillian is more than a little apprehensive. She interacts with animals more than humans—and definitely not criminals.

Justice Armstrong is more arrogant than a Silverback, but something darker lurks behind his eyes… 

It isn’t until Justice swaggers toward her from the parole officer’s car—pierced, confident, and more than a little hot—Lillian knows she has her work cut out for her. His stare has the power to rob her of all thoughts. His words, although crude and nefarious, bring a part of her to life she never knew existed. How is this criminal suddenly turning her world upside down?

He has the power to drag her to the dark side....

Pain is his drug of choice, a vice he can’t survive without. Then he meets Lillian Harris. Little miss hellcat. Fiery, strong, and all woman. She challenges him at every damn turn, and watching her tame those fierce big cats makes his need for her that much stronger. He wants to do things to her…wicked things. She makes him crave pain in a whole new way.

When a teen with a dark past bumps heads with a feisty rescue worker, will it be love over lust—or a matter of life and death?

{ about amanda mackey } .

Amanda Mackey was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia when she was 12 years old with her family, where she has lived ever since. She has loved books since an early age and is an avid reader. This has helped lay the foundation for her writing. She's published 2 non-fiction books and has her a fiction novel titled, Instinctual out now.

Instinctual is a 2 book series. Book 2 will be out Sept. 30 2014.

Amanda hopes to make writing her full time career.

{ interview with amanda } .

1. What are 5 words to best describe you? 
Kind, friendly, honest, a worrier, selfless.

2. What does your typical writing day look like, and are you a "pantser" or "plotter"? 
My typical writing day varies widely. It usually begins with checking mail online etc and then I get down to it. I have a few breaks in between and may or may not write before I go to bed. I am definitely a pantster, although I do a brief outline before hand, most of the novel is written as it comes to me.

3. What are 5 words to best describe your writing style? 
Flowing, easy, real, non-rambling, (is that even a word?), visual.

4. Where’s your favorite place to write? 
I typically write on the bed of the spare room using my laptop. Somewhere I can shut the door.

5. If you couldn’t write, what would you be doing (or, what do you do aside from writing)? 
I would immerse myself more into the Natural Therapies world.

6. We all have our book boyfriends… Who is your current one? What about him draws you to him? 
My current book boyfriend is Roth, a demon. He's a really nice demon though and has traits you would expect to find on an angel.

7. Of your characters (your ‘babies’), who are you ‘closest’ to?
I would have to say so far, Dakota Livingston in the Finding You series. She was a lot like me and being 3 books in the series, I invested a lot of time into her.

8. Was there anything in this book that caused you to pause, that was difficult to get past? Any annoying character flaws you had to push through? 
The difficult thing I had to deal with was the cruelty deposited on Justice when he was younger and then having him attempt suicide. It's such a touchy subject, I wasn't sure if I should even include it in the book but it was needed in the story line, so I kept it in.

9. Lastly… you get to take a breather from writing – what do you do? 
Read, read and read.

10. Last 5-star book you read?
It's the current series I'm reading. I'm on book 3 and I have to say it's the best paranormal series I've read. The Dark Elements series by Jennifer Armentrout.

{ review } .

In the interview I posted above, Amanda stated she wasn't sure that she should keep Justice's suicide attempt in the story -- and I am so glad that she did. His beginning saddened me to no end, and the turmoil he goes through and fights to keep down was a key driver in this book, no doubt. I felt that his attempt was definitely a cumulation of everything he'd gone through, and it was him hitting rock bottom.

The only aspect of Justice's life that I wish we could have seen more of would be the years between the prologue and his ending up at The Sanctuary. As it was, he was a broken individual, and perhaps it's dark of me to want it, but I would have liked to see him go from the timid abused boy to the dark, hell-on-his-back teen (this is not to say we don't get the pieces of his past... I suppose it would have hit more for me, personally, had I read his story in chronological order).

Then there's Lillian. The Sanctuary is more than her home -- it's her passion, her life, her desires. Everything about these animals draws her to them and it's because of just that, that I felt her friendship turned more with Justice felt real. Granted, him showing up certainly put a wrench in her plans, but if there's one thing that Lillian proves right away, it's that she does as she's told and she accepts the wounded -- because with her age, she could have easily told her dad 'no'. That's not to say she rolls over for Justice though -- she certainly stands her ground and shows him what a fiery person she could be.

So, what could have made this book a 5-star? I felt that the growth between Lillian and Justice, once it reached acceptance, was fairly stagnant. I wanted a little more growth before Justice does selfish acts, only thinking about Lillian's reaction well after. I'm also selfish and would like to know how the rest of Justice's stay goes, and if he and Lillian stay together -- because I'm a HEA-freak like that.

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